Before the latest flu season had officially gotten under way, the swine flu (or H1N1 virus) was already stealing headlines as it left a trail of fever, aches, and general misery across the country. For people with asthma, watching the swine flu sweep across the nation has been especially nerve wracking. Both swine flu and asthma attack the airways, and having both conditions makes people particularly vulnerable to severe respiratory complications from swine flu. "Patients with asthma are more likely...
But if you know what the symptoms are and how to take precautions, you can avoid these problems and stay healthy.
What Is the Flu?
It's a very contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. People tend to catch it most often in the fall and winter. It comes on fast and strong, spreading through your upper respiratory tract and sometimes invading your lungs.
It can happen when the flu virus enters your lung or when you get a bacterial infection during the course of the illness. Pneumonia can make you quite ill and may send you to the hospital.
It can cause chills, fever, chest pains, and sweating. You might have a cough with green or bloody mucus. You could notice a faster pulse, and your lips or nails might have a bluish tint because of a lack of oxygen. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and sharp pains in your chest when you take a deep breath. Seniors may only notice a pain in the belly.